With actual cold temperatures hitting Southern Utah across Washington, Iron, and Beaver Counties along with the mountainous regions of the area, a silent killer rears its ugly head when you least expect it.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is something often taken for granted. I certainly did when I lived in an extremely cheap apartment in Cedar City.

I’d turn my heater up as much as I could to sustain the cold, but would suddenly feel lightheaded, nauseous, and have a sudden desire for pizza. OK, maybe that last part was just my unhealthy eating habits, but my carbon monoxide alarm gave credibility to the other symptoms.

I immediately shut off my heater and opened my windows to avoid exposing myself anymore than I had to, and then I waited for the levels to go down.

This also happened in Northern Utah during New Year’s Eve with 54 people getting sick from Carbon Monoxide poisoning while presiding in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building. 22 of those people were sent to the hospital.

An article from Jonathon Sharp at ABC 4 Utah does a fantastic job of summarizing the events of the incident.

It all started when a four-year-old girl reported feeling the same symptoms that I did while craving pizza (I was craving pizza, not the girl). After more people started feeling the same way, the local fire department got involved and officials from the church said the heating system was most likely the reason for the high carbon monoxide levels.

This is a pretty common story for residents in cold regions that max out their heaters to stay warm, but there are some who go without a carbon monoxide alarm and pay the price for it.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is think about investing in a carbon monoxide alarm if you don’t already have one installed. I certainly wouldn’t want to write about any of you if you’re sent to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning…or worse.


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